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Oral contraceptives safe in lupus

Women with lupus can safely take oral contraceptives without fear that the pill will worsen their condition.

Oral contraceptives safe in lupus

Women with lupus can safely take oral contraceptives without fear that the pill will worsen their condition. It has been found that once someone has established lupus, contraceptives are not bad. Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin, kidneys, joints and circulation. Because nine times more women than men have lupus and hormones may play a role, there has been concern that birth control pills might cause symptoms of the disease to worsen. Generations of doctors have not prescribed oral contraceptives to lupus patients Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA, found that a severe lupus flare-up was just as likely to occur in the 91 women who received an oral contraceptive containing oestrogen and progesterone as in the 92 who got a placebo. The rates of mild or moderate flares were also the same in both groups. In all of the women, the disease was stable. Another study, involving 162 volunteers, found that the flare-up rate and the severity of the flare-ups was the same whether patients got standard birth control pills, a progestin-only pill, or a copper intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy.
The New England Journal of Medicine,
December 2005
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